Exited out of Academics

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pushed outIn spite of the over 10 years of time and energy spent in the academic world, I’ve been officially exited out. Over the past couple of years, I’ve applied to a few tenured track positions in other states and several positions at my home institution, and every single one of them has resulted in a big REJECTION. Can you imagine what that does to a human being?

Growing up in California I clearly remember the ‘Three strikes you’re out!’ law, but I have to be honest and say it’s been much more than three strikes, at least double that.

I’m trying not to take things personally and I’m continuously going back to muttering the three P’s  I recently learned at a Buddhist retreat – “nothing is personal, nothing is perfect, and nothing is permanent,” but dammit, all of this feels so awful. My brain and being are going through all of the stages of emotions associated with such a failed trajectory and of such utter rejection. Thoughts from what a waste of time and energy to being so absolutely hurt to then being thankful that the system and its gatekeepers finally pushed me out.

I have to say that the rejections received from my home institution felt the worst. Not only was I rejected/denied by my own raza, but also from my own program, and then the department that I had dedicated myself to for the past three years. Y todo para que?

I keep torturing myself wondering what it was about me that was so unsavory, so unworkable, so incompatible, so un-academic?

As People on ceremonial paths we are taught to confront ourselves so I do that now as a means of recognizing, accepting, and then moving forward.

I am an aggressive/passionate/angry Xicana.

I speak up too loudly when I see injustice committed.

I take a firm stand for my family, students, and community.

I try to speak the truth even if it hurts or makes us uncomfortable.

I am a woman of color who will always align with POC, the disenfranchised, the oppressed – there’s never a question to that.

I work for the community and my students – soy Maseual, una servidora.

In the world of academics those are considered deviant traits that mark me with a huge red flag.

I am a nonconformist.

I say too much, I think too much.

Part of me wants to lash out, write the angriest of emails (and even an OP ED) to all of those SOBs who play the game and help to continue inequitable systems, especially written to those that I thought were my allies but turned out that they were not. But I will no longer waste my time.

In community circles we make it clear when we are allies and when we are not but in the world of academics it’s always so vague and hazy. Behind the smile hides mistrust, envy, and that twisted Westernized competitive spirit.

I am just so thankful to the Creator that I was in ceremony when I got the news on this last position that I waited so long to hear back from because out in the arbor I was able to let most of it go and to stop sending bruja thoughts to those involved. I prayed the entire time for the Creator to help me to understand and accept that it’s time to go and follow another path.

the red road

So now it is finally official my friends, I am done with the academic world. Interestingly enough, over the course of a few days since getting the final boot, my initial feelings of self-doubt and sadness have been replaced by excitement and a renewed sense of liberation.

I’ll keep it at the forefront that I shouldn’t waste my energy and tears over something that did not appreciate me and that didn’t want me there. Wow, sounds like a relationship thing but in reality it was.

Thanks academics for the last turbulent decade but now this Xicana is free to walk a new path and reach new heights that would’ve never been allowed in that environment and especially not by the people there.

Nos vemos hijos de la …!

#laxicana #lablogadora #academicinjustice

1 comments on “Exited out of Academics”

  1. I am with you and I will always be. I am also a woman of colour who went to a very hard time passing through a academic life. Be health, be happy and strong for your family and community. Besos.

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